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L4651: ‘That’s Your Lot!’ by Ploy

Posted by Encota on 9 Apr 2021

The Preamble quickly tells us this puzzle is about songs and music. 1ac’s answer STEELY obviously points to the band STEELY DAN and, sure enough, there is DAN hiding in the middle of 2d to confirm that.

But are we interested in Singles or Albums? 1d’s (serum)ALBUM(in) soon clears that one up. But now what? Am I getting warmer?

There’s clearly something going on in 4 adjacent cells in Columns 4 and 9. But what STEELY DAN album fits (4,4)? A quick bit of Googling and there it is – KATY LIED. So we need to replace those letters with KATY LIED. I haven’t read the Preamble too carefully but that must surely be what all that ‘replace 4 letters’ stuff means.

That just leaves the (7,5) requirement of the bottom Row. What can it be? Is there a (7,5) STEELY DAN album? Over to Auntie Google and yes, there it is – PRETZEL LOGIC.

That just leaves the Title, “That’s Your Lot!” to be unravelled. What does that have to do with STEELY DAN? Checking the Discography and, sure enough, it must be referring to their 2003 final studio album – EVERYTHING MUST GO. Neat!

Easy this week. Must get on with the Listener ‘Dinner’ Quiz now, else I’d have had time to check it a bit more thoroughly 😉


Tim / Encota

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That’s Your Lot! by Ploy

Posted by shirleycurran on 9 Apr 2021

We knew we were going to download John Henderson’s Zoom Listener dinner quiz in exactly an hour and the team was poised, ready (and what a team – brilliant – it was almost as stimulating as the usual pre-dinner Friday evening gatherings in the pub!) so it was with some trepidation that we downloaded the Listener puzzle and we were delighted to see Ploy’s name at the head of it. That is always a guarantee of no great difficulty but lots of pleasure.

Ploy, of course organises the Listener gatherings every three months in Farringdon (though we haven’t been doing Zoom gatherings lately – obviously – how on earth would we fit them in with all the other crosswordy and quizzy Zooms?) so of course he remains in the Listener oenophile elite, but I did look for proof in his clues. It was fairly subtle: ‘Black uniform with zip further back (4)’ had to be SLOE (uniform = SOLE so the O goes further back to give SLOE) – so I suppose he was starting with the gin. ‘Married to Punch (3)’ No, it wasn’t RUM PUNCH – we opted for M + AT = MAT which Chambers tells us is ‘Punch’. ‘Each French lake has westbound canals (6)’. We know all about the wine lakes that occur in France now and again when the Brits aren’t driving over to export it in the boots of their cars but here we reversed EA (= each) and those LACS to give SCALAE.

By this time, we had “YEAH, THAT’S ENTROPY, MAN!” emerging from our extra letters in the down clues and were happily playing Flanders and Swann, so it wasn’t much of a surprise to find that Ploy was finishing by drinking that rum hot: ‘Purring for some hot drink, cat ultimately got ahead (5) H + RUM with (ca)T in front = THRUM. Cheers, Ploy!

With a full grid, we could see that HEAT had filled the spaces that weren’t unched in the bottom row of our grid and WORK had appeared between HOTTER and COOLER in our grid but Flanders and Swann tell us that “heat can’t pass from a cooler to a hotter (or a hotter to a cooler) without conduction, convection or radiation” so we had some manipulating to do. “HEAT is WORK and WORK is HEAT” so we switched those two, according to the first law, then to illustrate the second, we shifted that HEAT from the HOTTER to the COOLER, finally giving ourselves the alliterative PERFECT PEACE in time for a stimulating Zoom solve of John’s challenging very Listener-oriented quiz where (together with the newest Australian convert who is about to win the Roddy Forman trophy this evening and who was up in the middle of the night) we toured the country for previous Listener dinner sites.

Great fun, thank you Ploy.

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Two Names by Deuce

Posted by shirleycurran on 2 Apr 2021

The other Numpty is almost half way through solving the clues of Deuce’s Two Names while I am still busy colour coding clues to match entry lengths and highlighting the 7 slots for the unclued entries. It is rather amusing, later, to see how the clue numbers give us a taxonomic order. I have just finished Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything (brilliant bedtime reading!) and he goes into great detail about the taxonomic disorder of current nomenclature, but his names for our lot were a great help as, when we had ANIMALIA, CHORDATA and MAMMALIA, we could slot in PRIMATES, HOMINIDAE and HOMO SAPIENS.

But I am leaping ahead. We haven’t seen much of Deuce in the Listener series. Does he qualify for the elite setters’ oenophile outfit? I am a third of the way through my scan of the clues before finding a decisive “yes”. ‘Sway twice after [neatly] lapping head of ale (4) (we later use the NE of NEatly to give us part of GENESIS TWO TWENTY but there is enough left in the clue to give us BIS around the ‘head of ale – A = BIAS. Well, if Deuce is lapping that head of ale, Cheers!

We are happily able to spot a monastery, ‘Monastery farm in Midi in dire aerial [assault] (9)’ We anagram AERIAL around MAS (that old chestnut for setters), and LAMASERAI fills the clued nine-letter slot. ‘This [stocking] dresses the tail? Nae! (7, two words)’ gives us another useful anagram for TILE HAT filling one of the three remaining seven-letter slots and our grid fill is underway.

Our very last entry causes us some head-scratching then earns a smile. ‘Internally burn inside of pan having more [two] down (7)’ We put (b)UR(n) into a FRIER and get FURRIER – having more down. Nice!

It doesn’t take TEA long to tell us that CURSE/ LIANA/ L/ N unjumbles to CARL LINNAEUS. I wonder why Deuce didn’t require us to write that below the grid, so that he could have retained all real words.

Those pairs of letters now tell us that HE IS LIKE THE PROTAGONIST OF GENESIS TWO TWENTY. Well, that was Adam wasn’t it? At the end of the verse, God is wanting to give Adam a partner in his naming of all the beasts and so on, on earth, so we look for one of Linnaeus’ partners in the grid A NAME TO CONJOIN AS IN THE CLOSE OF THE PASSAGE – and there she is, his EVE, reversed at the foot of the grid: SARA MORAEA. Thank you Deuce. Very nice!

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Listener No 4650: Two Names by Deuce

Posted by Dave Hennings on 2 Apr 2021

The theme of Deuce’s first Listener in October 2019 was something that didn’t exist five years ago — Brexit. This week, hopefully, a less contentious theme with a person to be identified by the seven numbered (but unclued) entries in the grid. The remaining clues, in alphabetical order, contained an extra word with two hints given by their first two letters.

Scanning grid lengths and answer lengths, the only 9-letter unnumbered entry was in the penultimate column. Its clue was therefore Monastery farm in Midi in dire aerial [assault] (9), and LAMASERIE was slotted in [MAS in AERIAL*] — nice to get, but at this stage totally useless!

Back to the top, and ALAE, ALARUM, ANT, ANTI, AROMA and ASP made me wonder whether every entry began with the letter A. Luckily BALLOT and BEMA disabused me of that. I also noticed that there were an awful lot of people dotted around the clues: Lowry, Cleopatra, Dorothy, O’Connor, Tarzan and Wolff. Oh, and not forgetting Rees-Mogg — bloody Brexit again! [Not quite. Ed.]

Just under an hour saw enough answers for me to be able to start filling the grid. Using LAMASERAI, the top right corner started me off, then across the top and down the left. Unclued 7ac was obviously SAPIENT, so we were looking for a wise man, and it looked as though 3ac at the bottom was MAMMALIA. Linnaeus came to mind but I couldn’t remember his first name. Luckily, Wiki could — it was Carl.

Begrudgingly, my favourite clue was probably the one mentioned above: Rees-Mogg’s old post here to some extent called it original [sin] (6) with its reference to William Rees-Mogg, the father of the current Member of Parliament for North East Somerset, and a former EDITOR of The Times.

The first two letters of the extra words in clues revealed two hints: He is like the protagonist of Genesis two twenty and A name to conjoin as in the close of the passage. Reaching for my old school bible, Genesis 2:20 soon revealed And Adam gave names to al cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; followed by but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. (It’s a mystery to me why we’re told not to start a sentence with “And”, the Old Testament is littered with them.)

The seven unclued entries gave the taxonomy for all of us, but specifically the “thematic person’s self-description”: ANIMALIA, CHORDATA, MAMMALIA, PRIMATES, HOMINIDAE, HOMO, SAPIENS giving the binomial name Homo Sapiens.

So the preamble told us to rearrange the top row. Thus, CURSE LIANA L N gave CARL LINNAEUS and then a related person had to be highlighted. Wiki to the rescue again to find that Linnaeus’s wife was SARA MORAEA and it only took two (!) passes through the grid to find her reversed in the bottom row.

Remembering to change SAPIENT to SAPIENS, all was done. Thanks, Deuce.

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Listener No 4649: Get Weaving by Paddock

Posted by Dave Hennings on 26 Mar 2021

This was Paddock’s fourth Listener with the previous one being just over a year ago with No 4577, The Gaudy and its Inspector Morse theme. This week we had something that I’d never seen before — two clues interwoven! Luckily answers were entered normally, unlike the normal down clues where it was the two answers that were interwoven.

Listener 4649Starting with the acrosses, it soon became obvious that, unless a definition really stood out, I was pretty much stuffed. In 1ac Hated sham spending cuts following number one rule in such charged circumstances (7;5) for example Hated could be LOATHED, but no amount of trying the clue helped. The next obvious thing was that it was better to start with the down clues.

1 Confirm man leaving horse muck prepared earth in spring looked as though the first part could have some manure-y context but no joy. So 2 next Conservative serene about rejecting nuclear weapon bill — requirement for junket arising and CREESE/TENNER got me up and running.

3 passed me by, but 4 and 5 gave STAINS/MUSSES and EDDIES/ADHERE. No luck with 6 and 7, but 8 Selfie-taking device reached top of rankings, a stylish screen securing second place looked like CAMERA/something with that sneaky a belonging to the first clue no the second.

A bit more concentration on 1dn gave ASSURE (I was right about the manure)/BOUNED. From there, it seemed that letter patterns were the way to go as the across clues were still totally intractable. Thus 1ac started A/B+C/T with AC••M•• or AC••S•• being most likely. With the help of Mrs B’s cursed under hated I eventually got ACCUSED [ACCURSED – R] with the clue being Hated spending rule charged leaving Sham cuts following number one in such circumstances giving FACTS [ACT in (F + S(uch))]. So not only were the clues interwoven, it looked as though they were pretty difficult when disentangled!

Down the left-hand side of the grid, across the top and down the right and all was done. Not quite the quickest solve of the year — in fact pretty tough. I found it thoroughly enjoyable separating out the two across clues.

Not for the first time recently, I came across that sitcom priest TED in 7b plus a bit of off-the-wall humour in 9a What be that at rear of guardhouse? Mate, perhaps with ’TIS AN E and mate³ for the definition. It will come as no surprise to you that my favourite clue was 21ac Endless bonking injures aged duke drinking partner served drugged bubbly obscuring taste of Viagra (5;7) for DERES [clue here in bold, SERVED* – V(iagra)] and SEDATED [(SE(x) + D) around DATE].

The endgame required us to identify the names of two competitors, one on each side of the grid and then replace six letters of one to “reflect the outcome of the contest”. It didn’t take long to identify ARACHNE on the left and MINERVA on the right. The former then had six letters replaced to reveal A SPIDER.

Thanks for all this, Paddock. Very enjoyable with a fun clueing gimmick that made some clues tougher than disentangling Christmas tree lights.

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